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I cried and cried again, as I turned my gaze away from the pages of this captivating book. My eyes were heavy, my vision was blurred but my heart could see as bright as day. Tales of suffering told so eloquently. Words that flow so easily from page to heart. Kilanko delivers a tale so common to many, experiences endured, yet our lips stay hushed. We have been told “we are female we shouldn’t speak.” Somehow, women are expected to endure suffering. Mothers pass on this legacy of burdensome living to their daughters. Morayo’s mother was hurting but she couldn’t vocalise or communicate her sadness in a way her daughter would understand. Her silence hurt Morayo. Her words cut her as well. We must all learn that our words should not be for our speaking, but their listening.

We must all learn that our words should not be for our speaking, but their listening Click To Tweet

Morayo was only a young girl when she was raped and abused by her cousin. Her cousin that had been treated like a brother. A brother that became a predator, and like many girls before her, and many after, she could not speak. The words were too heavy, they could not leave her lips. The ears seemed too distant, they did not seem to be listening. But they did listen, eventually they listened with their ears. Perhaps, they should have been listening with their eyes, with thier souls, with their bodies, each time she shrieked from an unwanted touch. They should have listened when the silence was deafening, they should have listened then.

Kilanko tells of the struggles many young Nigerian girls face. Although the novel is set mostly in the nineties, the suffering within still resonates so loudly today. Eniayo, born an albino learnt to grow up with the stigma of her skin. Cursed or not, eyes always linger when you look different. Morenike, raped and impregnated by someone who should have protected her. How do you learn to love a child fathered by a monster? Yes the child is half you, but also half him.

Afuru m gi n’anya

We all have to learn at some point to let go. We forgive those who hurt us and learn to grieve the past. But it’s easier said than done. Morayo learns after a string of relationships that giving her heart away is not as easy as giving her body away. Kachi, her childhood sweetheart re-enters her life. He learns that like all girls who have been hurt in some way, Morayo is not as willing to accept his promises. But like any good man, he teaches her to let him in and Morayo does heal and does accept his love.

Daughters who walk this path‘ is a beautifully crafted novel that ensures the reader empathises, sympathises, suffers and rejoices with the characters within. Kilanko’s use of proverbs in her chapters takes me back, I felt like her book was a story fromTales by Moonlight’; so familiar. It is a must read!

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Until next time.